Glaring sunshine helps Cubs shut out Giants, complete sweep


by - Senior Writer -
After needing all 12 of their runs to win on Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs needed just one run to win on Thursday. (Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports)
After needing all 12 of their runs to win on Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs needed just one run to win on Thursday. (Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports)

CHICAGO — The MVP for the Chicago Cubs (69-58) on Thursday afternoon was the blinding sunlight at Wrigley Field. A botched catch on a popup led to the Cubs scoring the lone run of the contest between the North Siders and the San Francisco Giants (63-65). The series finale was a far cry from the 12-11 slugfest that took place on Wednesday night, as the 1-0 affair featured a pitching duel between Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks and Giants starter Jeff Samardzija.

Despite recording just two hits, the Cubs came out on top, with a leadoff single by Jason Heyward culminating in the Cubs taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. The glare from the sun made for several close calls in the outfield. Unfortunately for Giants center fielder Kevin Pillar, he lost a high popup off the bat of Heyward, thus allowing the pop fly to fall in for a hit. On the ensuing play, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford botched a routine grounder, thereby putting men on first and second with no outs.

Samardzija, a former Cubs ace, drew a double-play groundout after that, but he was unable to escape the jam unscathed. With two outs and Heyward on third, Anthony Rizzo put the Cubs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI line drive to center field. The Cubs did not seriously threaten to score the rest of the way, with the unlucky Samardzija receiving the losing decision, although he gave up just two hits and one walk in seven innings pitched.

As for Hendricks, he fanned seven and dominated on the bump in his seven innings of work. The Giants tallied only three hits against Hendricks, who did not issue a single walk. The Giants threatened to score off Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler in the top of the eighth but were unable to plate any runs. Pillar smacked a screamer down the third baseline to lead off the eighth frame, but Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant pulled off a diving stop for the first out.

With two outs in the top of the eighth, Crawford hammered a triple off the right-field wall, but Chicago relief pitcher Kyle Ryan entered and collected a clutch inning-ending strikeout. Ryan and Cubs reliever Rowan Wick teamed up to close out the 1-0 shutout victory in the top of the ninth. The two defensive gaffes committed by the Giants in the fourth inning, one of which was brought on by the sun, were the difference makers in the matchup. As a result of the win, the Cubs earned a 3-game sweep of the Giants at the Friendly Confines.

San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs
Aug 22, 2019 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco (63-65) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 1
Chicago (69-58) 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 - 1 2 0
W: Kyle Hendricks (9-9) L: Jeff Samardzija (9-10) S: Rowan Wick (2)

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